A Travel Price Comparison for Australia Rockhampton vs. Brisbane for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Beaches

Should you visit Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Should I visit Rockhampton or Brisbane? This is a common question asked by many travelers. By figuring out which city has activities that align with your interests along with knowing which is more affordable, you'll understand where you can get more bang for your buck. So, let's dive into the details and the data, which all comes from actual travelers.

Rockhampton

Rockhampton is a cultural, natural, and rural town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Brisbane

Brisbane is a active, relaxed, and diverse coastal city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the food, scuba diving and snorkeling, and beaches.

Rockhampton and Brisbane: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Good scuba and snorkeling destination
  • Popular beach
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Brisbane than Rockhampton. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Brisbane is very popular for its nightlife, scuba diving & snorkeling, beaches, shopping, and big city activities, while Rockhampton attracts visitors for its food, hiking, and small town charm. Rockhampton is more touristy than Brisbane and is known for its cultural centers and surrounding national parks. Brisbane is famous for its sports culture, beautiful weather, and outdoor areas. It is also well known for the Cultural Centre.

How is Rockhampton different from Brisbane?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Brisbane and Rockhampton. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

You'll find a number of great museums and attractions in both Brisbane and Rockhampton.

Rockhampton offers many unique museums, sights, and landmarks that will make for a memorable trip. While many people come for the area's natural beauty, there are also educational centers where you can learn about the indigenous culture. Make sure you visit the Dreamtime Cultural Centre as well as the Rockhampton Museum of Art. Also of interest are the Rockhampton Heritage Village and the Mount Morgan Historical Railway Museum.

Many visitors head to Brisbane specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The Cultural Centre is where you'll find many of the city's museums. It sits on the banks of the Brisbane River and is home to the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Museum and Sciencentre, and Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art. This is also where you'll find the Queensland Performing Arts Centre. Also popular is the Brisbane Botanic Gardens and the Wheel of Brisbane.


Is the Food Better in Rockhampton or Brisbane? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Rockhampton is great for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Brisbane is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Rockhampton has a number of nationally recognized food spots and restaurants. Despite its small size, the food scene is surprisingly diverse. There are local cafes that offer local produce, waterfront restaurants that have great views, and casual international eateries, as well as low key pubs.

Brisbane offers number of good local restaurants to choose from. You'll find all of the standard eateries around town, with casual cafes, family-friendly restaurants, and some fine dining experiences to choose from.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Nightlife?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is an excellent place to visit for its evening party scene. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for nightlife.

Brisbane has a lively atmosphere and nightlife is popular here. Fortitude Valley is the entertainment district in the city, and it really comes to life at night. There are also many venues that take advantage of the beautiful weather with outdoor and rooftop bars.

Rockhampton has an active nightlife scene for those who seek it out. It's a small place, but there are still a number of pubs and bars around town. Many visitors enjoy going to a coastal beach bar for the evening.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Scuba Diving and Snorkeling?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is a popular place for snorkeling and scuba diving. However, Rockhampton is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.

Brisbane has a few good snorkeling spots. There are some good snorkeling and diving spots near the city. One of the best is the Tangalooma Wrecks off Moreton Island.

Rockhampton is not a scuba or snorkeling destination.


Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Beaches?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is an excellent place to visit for the beach. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its beaches.

Brisbane is considered a top beach destination. For the best beaches, you'll want to take a day trip out of town, but there are also some nice beaches right by the city. About 30 minutes from town is family-friend Suttons Beach, or you can stay in the city center and check out the man-made Streets Beach. Shorncliffe Beach is another option that's less than a half hour from town.

Many people head to Rockhampton to enjoy the beach. The town is about 40 kilometers inland from the Capricorn Coast beaches.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Hiking?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Rockhampton is great for hiking. Also, Brisbane is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for the nearby hiking options.

Many visitors go to Rockhampton for the hiking trails. The area has several national parks that are perfect for an avid bush walker or anyone looking for an afternoon in nature. Whether you're interested in a day trip or overnight camping trip, there are many natural scenic areas nearby.

Brisbane has hiking trails worth exploring. There are a number of hikes outside of town that you can enjoy as a day trip. Check out the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail, Keperra Bushland Reserve, or D'Aguilar National Park to the north of town. To the south is Toohey Forest Park, Springwood Conservation Park , and Venmans Bushland National Park.

Is the Shopping Better in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is an excellent place to visit for its shopping areas. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for shopping.

Many visitors explore the shopping areas in Brisbane. It's one of the most popular cities for retail therapy in Queensland. Queen Street Mall is an open air shopping mall and James Street is a favorite shopping street in town.

Rockhampton is a great destination for shopping. There are several shopping centers in town where you can pick up anything you might need.


Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Families?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Kids will enjoy a visit to either Rockhampton or Brisbane.

You'll find plenty of family-friendly things to do in Rockhampton. Kids will enjoy a visit to the Rockhampton Heritage Village. You can also picnic and walk around the nearby Mount Etna Caves National Park or explore the Capricorn Caves which is about half an hour outside of town. Other kid-friendly places include Kershaw Gardens and Rockhampton Botanic Gardens.

Brisbane is a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids will love a visit to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary or White Ridge Farm. And, of course, you should take a ride on the iconic Wheel of Brisbane. If you're willing to head out of town you can visit the fun Tangalooma Island Resort. Streets Beach is also fun to visit.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Couples?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Rockhampton is great for couples. Also, Brisbane is not as popular, but is still a nice coastal city for romance.

Rockhampton is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. Near several great national parks and interesting outdoor settings, this is a wonderful couple's destination. There are sunset cruises and beautiful gardens as well as wellness spas and great food and wine.

Brisbane is a nice destination for couples. The waterfront setting and romantic restaurants offer a nice getaway for couples. There are many outdoor spaces that are fun to explore as well.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is an excellent place to visit for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for backpackers.

Plenty of budget travelers and backpackers visit Brisbane. Many backpackers breeze through Brisbane in favor of other nearby destinations, but there are actually a number of hostels in town and some interesting things to do.

Rockhampton is popular with backpackers and budget travelers. There are a couple of hostels in the area as well as a low key backpacker scene.


Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Students?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is an excellent place to visit for its student-friendly activities. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for students.

Brisbane is a very popular coastal city for students and younger travelers. Many students appreciate the local vibe, warm weather, and excellent education opportunities that the city offers.

Rockhampton is popular with students. The city has universities that attract an international crowd. It's a friendly setting that welcomes cultural diversity.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is a popular place for times when you don't have a car. However, Rockhampton is lacking in options for its public transit.

Brisbane has some public transit options. There are buses, trains, and ferries around town, but many people prefer to have their own vehicle. Ferries are the most fun and scenic way to get around.

Public transit is generally limited in Rockhampton. There are regional buses operated by Sunbus.

Is Rockhampton or Brisbane a more walkable city?

Rockhampton
Brisbane

Brisbane is an excellent place to visit for its ease of walking around. Also, Rockhampton is not quite as popular, but is fairly good for its walkability.

Brisbane is a very walkable destination. There's a good network of paths that make parts of the city walkable.

Rockhampton is somewhat walkable. It's fun to explore the Riverside Precinct on foot.


For even more information, also check out Is Rockhampton Worth Visiting? and Is Brisbane Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Brisbane or Rockhampton?

How long in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Visitors can find plenty of fun things to do in both Rockhampton and Brisbane. With generally more activities and things to do, visitors tend to spend more time in Rockhampton than in Brisbane. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Rockhampton, and 2-3 days is enough time in Brisbane.

Families should spend more time in Brisbane than Rockhampton. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Brisbane, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Brisbane than Rockhampton if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Brisbane.


  • How many days in Rockhampton or Brisbane? Ideal Length of Stay
    Rockhampton 2-4 
    Brisbane 2-3

One day in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

The town of Rockhampton offers food and shopping. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. With so much to do, one day is probably not enough time to see everything. It will give you the chance to have new experiences.

Visitors enjoy the scuba diving and snorkeling and shopping when visiting the relaxed coastal city of Brisbane. It's also a great beach destination, too. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

A weekend in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Rockhampton is a popular place that is full of things to see and experience. If you have a weekend, this town makes for a great vacation. Make sure you spend some time hiking while you're in the area. While some people choose to spend more or less time in Rockhampton, a weekend is sufficent for most. Take your pick from the many activities offered here.

Visitors enjoy the shopping and museums when visiting the relaxed destination of Brisbane. It's a great spot for a beach vacation. This coastal city offers something for everyone. Plenty of people spend a weekend in the area when traveling. If you enjoy all that's offered here, then a weekend is just the right amount of time to spend here.

Five days in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Rockhampton is a popular choice for travelers. Five days is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

The diverse coastal city of Brisbane offers museums and nightlife. You'll find plenty of activities on the beach. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel.


A week in Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Rockhampton is a great place to explore. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One week is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. This town offers something for everyone.

Many people enjoy the nightlife and food when visiting Brisbane. Anyone can find something fun to do here. Most people come for the beaches. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


Which place is cheaper, Brisbane or Rockhampton?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Rockhampton is $171, while the average daily cost in Brisbane is $131. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Rockhampton and Brisbane in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Rockhampton $101
    Brisbane $81
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Rockhampton $202
    Brisbane $162
Compare Hotels in Rockhampton and Brisbane

Looking for a hotel in Rockhampton or Brisbane? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Rockhampton


Hotels in Brisbane


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Rockhampton Hotel Prices and Brisbane Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Rockhampton $19
    Brisbane $18

Typical Local Transportation Prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Brisbane:


  • Airtrain to the City
    $9.79
  • Go Card
    $16

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Brisbane

Also for Brisbane, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Sunshine Coast Airport Arrival transfer to Hotels: $19
  • St Lucia Airport Transfer to St James's Club Morgan Bay: $17
  • Sirromet Winery 3 Course Lunch, Tour, Tastings and Transfers: $134
  • Private Transfer: Cruise Port to Brisbane Airport BNE or Brisbane City: $125
  • Private Transfer: Cruise Port to Brisbane Airport BNE or Brisbane City: $92
  • Private Transfer: Brisbane to Brisbane Airport BNE in Business Car: $103
  • Private Transfer: Brisbane Airport BNE to Brisbane in Business Car: $103
  • Private Transfer: Brisbane Airport BNE or Brisbane City to Cruise Port: $125
  • Private Transfer: Brisbane Airport BNE or Brisbane City to Cruise Port: $92
  • Private Transfer to Gold Coast /OOL Airport from Brisbane /BNE Airport (1-7 Pax): $230
  • Private Transfer from Brisbane Port to Brisbane Airport (BNE): $33
  • Private Transfer from Brisbane Hotels to Brisbane Cruise Port: $33

Is it cheaper to fly into Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Prices for flights to both Brisbane and Rockhampton change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Rockhampton $50
    Brisbane $31

Typical Food Prices in Brisbane

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Brisbane:


  • Hamburger Lunch
    $5.22
  • Cup of Coffee
    $1.96
  • Chinese Food Lunch
    $8.16
  • Ice cream
    $3.59
  • Japanese Meal
    $14
  • Smoothie
    $4.24
  • Japanese Soup
    $7.50
  • Coffee & Muffin
    $4.57
  • Morning Mint Tea
    $2.28
  • Veggie Burger & Chips
    $9.14
  • Bread
    $1.70

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • City Lights Dinner Cruise with Buffet: $72
  • City Lights Dinner Cruise in Brisbane with Dinner: $73
  • Guided Food Tour with Coffee, Seafood and Wine: $564
  • Sunshine Coast Food Tour: $655

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Rockhampton $40
    Brisbane $24

Typical Entertainment Prices in Brisbane

For Brisbane, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Concert Tickets
    $13

Tours and Activities in Brisbane

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Brisbane.

  • 1hr Animal Tour: $43
  • 2 Hours Sunset River Cruise in the City of Brisbane : $44
  • 2hr Animal Tour: $73
  • 3 Hours Jetski Tour and Lunch in Brisbane City: $267
  • 3-Hours Walking Tour in Brisbane: $57
  • 45-Minute Behind-the-Tanks Tour on North Stradbroke Island: $33
  • 90min Brisbane River Cruise/Tour: $35
  • Adventure Moreton Island Day Pass: $79
  • Adventure Moreton Island Scuba Dive Tour: $180
  • Adventure Moreton Island Wrecks Adventure Package: $120
  • Adventure Theme Scavenger Hunt Experience in Brisbane: $30
  • Afternoon Moreton Bay Sailing Tour: $70

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Rockhampton $13
    Brisbane $50

Typical Alcohol Prices in Brisbane

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Brisbane:


  • Evening at the Bar
    $9.79
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $9.14
  • Guiness Beer
    $5.55
  • Sixpack of Beer
    $8.48

Sample the Local Flavors in Brisbane

Here are a few nightlife and alcohol tours and activities from local tour providers in Brisbane:

  • XXXX Brewery Tour: $21
  • XXXX Beer Brewery Tour & Beer Tasting: $24
  • Artisinal Wine Tasting and Local 2-Course Meal: $49
  • City Winery Wine Tasting Tour with Lunch: $50
  • River Cruise Brewery Tour with Drinks: $65
  • Brewery Tour River Cruise in Brisbane: $66
  • Wine tasting tour to Tamborine Mountain: $97
  • Afternoon Brisbane Half-Day Brewery Tour: $99
  • Half Day Gold Coast Brewery Tour: $100
  • Tamborine Wine & Distillery Tour + 2 Course Lunch: $125
  • Brisbane Brewery Full Day Tour with Lunch: $126
  • Gold Coast Full Day Brewery Tour: $126


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Rockhampton and Brisbane, we can see that Rockhampton is more expensive. And not only is Brisbane much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Brisbane would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Brisbane and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Rockhampton would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Rockhampton than you might in Brisbane.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Rockhampton Expensive? and Is Brisbane Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Brisbane has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Rockhampton. When comparing the sizes of Rockhampton and Brisbane, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.


When is the best time to visit Rockhampton or Brisbane?

Both destinations experience a temperate climate with four distinct seasons. And since both cities are in the southern hemisphere, summer is in January and winter is in July.

Should I visit Rockhampton or Brisbane in the Summer?

The summer attracts plenty of travelers to both Rockhampton and Brisbane. The beaches, the hiking, the small town charm, and the family-friendly experiences are the main draw to Rockhampton this time of year. Furthermore, many travelers come to Brisbane for the beaches, snorkeling, the hiking, the city activities, and the family-friendly experiences.

Rockhampton is around the same temperature as Brisbane in the summer. The daily temperature in Rockhampton averages around 27°C (81°F) in January, and Brisbane fluctuates around 25°C (77°F).

Brisbane receives a lot of rain in the summer. Rockhampton gets a good bit of rain this time of year. In January, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Brisbane. Rockhampton gets 124 mm (4.9 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 169 mm (6.7 in) of rain each month for the summer.


  • Summer Average Temperatures January
    Rockhampton 27°C (81°F) 
    Brisbane 25°C (77°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Brisbane in the Autumn?

The autumn brings many poeple to Rockhampton as well as Brisbane. Many travelers come to Rockhampton for the hiking trails, the shopping scene, and the small town atmosphere. Additionally, many visitors come to Brisbane in the autumn for the hiking trails, the city's sights and attractions, and the shopping scene.

In the autumn, Rockhampton is around the same temperature as Brisbane. Typically, the autumn temperatures in Rockhampton in April average around 23°C (74°F), and Brisbane averages at about 22°C (71°F).

It's quite rainy in Brisbane. Rockhampton usually gets less rain in April than Brisbane. Rockhampton gets 51 mm (2 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 112 mm (4.4 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Autumn Average Temperatures April
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Brisbane 22°C (71°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Brisbane in the Winter?

Both Brisbane and Rockhampton are popular destinations to visit in the winter with plenty of activities. Many visitors come to Rockhampton in the winter for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine. Also, most visitors come to Brisbane for the museums, the shopping scene, and the cuisine during these months.

In July, Rockhampton is generally around the same temperature as Brisbane. Daily temperatures in Rockhampton average around 16°C (61°F), and Brisbane fluctuates around 15°C (59°F).

In July, Rockhampton usually receives less rain than Brisbane. Rockhampton gets 29 mm (1.1 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 64 mm (2.5 in) of rain each month for the winter.


  • Winter Average Temperatures July
    Rockhampton 16°C (61°F) 
    Brisbane 15°C (59°F)

Should I visit Rockhampton or Brisbane in the Spring?

Both Brisbane and Rockhampton during the spring are popular places to visit. Most visitors come to Rockhampton for the beaches and the small town charm during these months. Also, the spring months attract visitors to Brisbane because of the beaches and the activities around the city.

Rockhampton is a little warmer than Brisbane in the spring. The daily temperature in Rockhampton averages around 23°C (74°F) in October, and Brisbane fluctuates around 21°C (69°F).

Rockhampton usually gets less rain in October than Brisbane. Rockhampton gets 47 mm (1.9 in) of rain, while Brisbane receives 93 mm (3.7 in) of rain this time of the year.


  • Spring Average Temperatures October
    Rockhampton 23°C (74°F) 
    Brisbane 21°C (69°F)

Typical Weather for Brisbane and Rockhampton

Rockhampton Brisbane
Temp (°C) Rain (mm) Temp (°C) Rain (mm)
Jan 27°C (81°F) 124 mm (4.9 in) 25°C (77°F) 169 mm (6.7 in)
Feb 27°C (80°F) 120 mm (4.7 in) 25°C (77°F) 152 mm (6 in)
Mar 26°C (78°F) 109 mm (4.3 in) 24°C (75°F) 146 mm (5.7 in)
Apr 23°C (74°F) 51 mm (2 in) 22°C (71°F) 112 mm (4.4 in)
May 20°C (69°F) 59 mm (2.3 in) 19°C (66°F) 104 mm (4.1 in)
Jun 17°C (63°F) 35 mm (1.4 in) 16°C (61°F) 77 mm (3 in)
Jul 16°C (61°F) 29 mm (1.1 in) 15°C (59°F) 64 mm (2.5 in)
Aug 18°C (64°F) 30 mm (1.2 in) 16°C (61°F) 46 mm (1.8 in)
Sep 20°C (69°F) 27 mm (1.1 in) 18°C (65°F) 33 mm (1.3 in)
Oct 23°C (74°F) 47 mm (1.9 in) 21°C (69°F) 93 mm (3.7 in)
Nov 26°C (78°F) 78 mm (3.1 in) 23°C (73°F) 107 mm (4.2 in)
Dec 27°C (80°F) 125 mm (4.9 in) 24°C (76°F) 127 mm (5 in)